Gaza cease-fire after day of violence
Yesterday Israeli air raids and gunfire continued throughout the day. Hamas launched three rockets. An Israeli soldier died from injuries. Four Palestinian deaths. UN Envoy: Step back from the brink, right now..
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The ceasefire declared overnight by Hamas and respected - even if not declared by Israel - after a day of violence that led to the death of an Israeli soldier and four Palestinians, seems to be holding.
According to the Gaza health ministry, two Palestinians were killed in Khan Younes, in the south of the Strip, at a Hamas observation post. The third victim was killed in Rafah; the fourth at the eastern border of the city of Gaza. The military command of Hamas describes the killing of "fighters", but only three of them were members of the militant Islamist movement that controls the Strip.
Yesterday evening the Israeli soldier died, hit by some shots fired at the border. He is the first Israeli killed since March 30, since the Palestinians in Gaza demonstrate every Friday against the Israeli blockade and the return of the refugees. Over the past few months, over 100 Palestinians have been killed.
In retaliation, yesterday Israel continued air raids and gunfire. Hamas responded by launching three rockets, which did not do any damage.
The Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said that if Hamas continues to launch rockets, "Israel will react even harder". Some analysts think that Israel is planning a military operation inside the Strip.
The UN envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, has appealed, asking that "Everyone in Gaza needs to step back from the brink. Not next week. Not tomorrow. Right NOW!"
Lieberman has called the demonstrations that take place at the border "violent clashes". IN reality they have been peaceful, although among the demonstrators there are some who fly burning kites.
According to the Jewish state they have caused fires on 2,600 hectares of Israeli land. This week the army decided to open fire on those who launch kites.